This week, let’s talk about iron. Iron is an essential mineral for the human body because it helps to make our blood cells. Specifically, iron is needed to make oxygen-carrying proteins called hemoglobin in our red blood cells. It also helps to make myoglobin, which is found in our muscles.
Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for Iron
- Males – 8 mg/d
- Females (age 19-50 y) – 18 mg/d
- Females (age >50 y) – 8 mg/d
- Pregnancy – 27 mg/d
For women, pregnancy is an important time for mothers to ensure they are getting enough iron; otherwise babies can develop iron deficiency. Iron is important in organ-system development, especially for the brain. Interestingly, a recent study showed stress experienced by mothers early in pregnancy is another risk factor for iron deficiency in newborns.
Eggs, spinach, lean meats and shellfish are all sources of iron. To get some iron, try a stir-fry for dinner tonight!
Chicken and Egg with Unfried Brown Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 tsp Vegetable oil
1/2 lb Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 cup Sliced green onions
2 Cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Mixed vegetables (sliced carrots, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips, pea pods, sliced cabbage)
2 tbsp Water
2 cups Cooked brown rice, warm
1/3 cup Chopped fresh basil leaves or cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup Prepared orange ginger or classic stir-fry sauce
1. HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. ADD chicken strips; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes until outside surface is browned. Remove and keep warm. ADD green onions and garlic to skillet; cook and stir I minute. ADD vegetables; cook and stir until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile BEAT eggs and water until blended. REDUCE heat to medium. POUR eggs into skillet. As eggs begin to set, GENTLY PULL the eggs across the pan with an inverted turner. CONTINUE cooking until eggs are thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly.
3. ADD brown rice, basil, stir-fry sauce, reserved chicken and vegetables to skillet; stir to combine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.
Nutrition Information (Per serving)
Saturated fat: 2g
Monounsaturated fat: 4g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2g